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Cause for Optimism As Irish 49erfx Crew Can Still Qualify For Rio Olympics

22nd November 2015

While the Irish 49er Fx women's team must be feeling bitterly disappointed at the failure to qualify for Rio on Saturday, there is plenty of cause for optimism as the fat lady doesn't sing for a while yet. Of the 20 places allocated by the IOC to the class, six remain. These are allocated as one to each continent, Africa, Asia, Oceania, Europe, North America and South America. While, at first glance, it may seem that the only opportunity left to Ireland is at the European qualifier at Palma in March, if there are no qualifiers at the continental events, then the place reverts to the 2015 World Championship.

Selection update here

As New Zealand and Australia are already qualified and no other country from Oceania has yet entered the continental qualifier at the Melbourne World Cup, it appears likely that the Oceania slot will go to Norway, as the first country to miss out on qualification. Ireland could well pick up the African slot at the Palma World Cup as there does not appear to be an African nation with a 49erFx campaign.

If Ireland has to rely on the European Qualifier, also at Palma, then the battle will be with Finland, Croatia, Austria and Estonia of whom only Croatia made gold fleet at the worlds (assuming Norway gets the Oceania slot)

The US must also be relieved that Canada got in ahead of Ireland as this will leave them with only the US Virgin Island to beat to take the North American slot at Miami in January.

Afloat's prediction for the remaining qualifiers - Norway to get the Oceania slot, Ireland the African one. USA for North America, Croatia to see off Austria Finland and Estonia in the European battle while India and Chile should round out the places.

Published in Olympic
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